“Redeeming Time” Endures at Historic Lincoln Recreation Center

Eventually, something good almost always comes out of good works. James Steen calls it “redeeming the time.” 

Earlier this month, Mr. Steen was about to have a corrective surgery at the Scott and White Hospital in Temple. His wife, Andre Mae, said the attending physician was in the prep area when suddenly he exclaimed “JAMES STEEN! I know Mr. Steen!” The surgeon said that 11 years ago he performed some community service at the Lincoln Recreation Center, where Mr. Steen has served for many years a community services coordinator. Mrs. Steen says the young doctor quickly galloped to the holding area to offer a happy greeting to Mr. Steen before the surgery. Thankfully, the surgery was successful and Mr. Steen will soon be gracing the Lincoln Center once again.

The point of this story is that we never know where we might wind up in life and whether we’ll always keep the friends we make. Regardless, it’s clear the impressions we make on people under stressful or strained situations can turn out to be blessed events later in our lives.

Mr. Steen’s ties to the Lincoln Center run deep. The building opened in 1941 as the A&M Consolidated Negro School and became Lincoln High School in 1946. Mr. Steen graduated from Lincoln in 1960 after leading the basketball team to a state championship as a senior. After the facility was renovated in the 1970s, it re-opened as the Lincoln Recreation Center in 1980.

Thousands of young people and adults have filtered through those halls, rooms and gym doing many deeds. Some come with a great attitude, some don’t. After they adjust and get comfortable with their surroundings, they tend to realize their circumstances could be much different. The bottom line is that the Lincoln Center has had a positive impact on countless lives and continues to play a vital role in the life of our community.


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